Give thanks to the Lord, for he is gracious, for his faithfulness endures for ever.
Who can express the mighty acts of the Lord or show forth all his praise?
Blessed are those who observe what is right and always do what is just. Remember me, O Lord, in the favour you bear for your people; visit me in the day of your salvation; That I may see the prosperity of your chosen and rejoice in the gladness of your people, and exult with your inheritance.
We have sinned like our forebears; we have done wrong and dealt wickedly. In Egypt they did not consider your wonders, nor remember the abundance of your faithful love; they rebelled against the Most High at the Red Sea. But he saved them for his name’s sake, that he might make his power to be known. He rebuked the Red Sea and it was dried up; so he led them through the deep as through the wilderness. He saved them from the adversary’s hand and redeemed them from the hand of the enemy.
As for those that troubled them, the waters overwhelmed them; there was not one of them left. Then they believed his words and sang aloud his praise. But soon they forgot his deeds and would not wait for his counsel. A craving seized them in the wilderness, and they put God to the test in the desert. He gave them their desire, but sent a wasting sickness among them. They grew jealous of Moses in the camp and of Aaron, the holy one of the Lord. So the earth opened and swallowed up Dathan and covered the company of Abiram. A fire was kindled in their company; the flame burnt up the wicked. They made a calf at Horeb and worshipped the molten image; Thus they exchanged their glory for the image of an ox that feeds on hay.
They forgot God their saviour, who had done such great things in Egypt, Wonderful deeds in the land of Ham and fearful things at the Red Sea. So he would have destroyed them, had not Moses his chosen stood before him in the breach, to turn away his wrath from consuming them. Then they scorned the Promised Land and would not believe his word, But murmured in their tents and would not heed the voice of the Lord. So he lifted his hand against them and swore to overthrow them in the wilderness, To disperse their descendants among the nations, and to scatter them throughout the lands.
They joined themselves to the Baal of Peor and ate sacrifices offered to the dead. They provoked him to anger with their evil deeds and a plague broke out among them. Then Phinehas stood up and interceded and so the plague was stayed. This was counted to him for righteousness throughout all generations for ever. They angered him also at the waters of Meribah, so that Moses suffered for their sake; For they so embittered his spirit that he spoke rash words with his lips. They did not destroy the peoples as the Lord had commanded them. They mingled with the nations and learned to follow their ways, So that they worshipped their idols, which became to them a snare. Their own sons and daughters they sacrificed to evil spirits. They shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, Which they offered to the idols of Canaan, and the land was defiled with blood. Thus were they polluted by their actions, and in their wanton deeds went whoring after other gods. Therefore was the wrath of the Lord kindled against his people, and he abhorred his inheritance.
He gave them over to the hand of the nations, and those who hated them ruled over them. So their enemies oppressed them and put them in subjection under their hand. Many a time did he deliver them, but they rebelled through their own devices and were brought down through their wickedness. Nevertheless, he saw their adversity, when he heard their lamentation. He remembered his covenant with them and relented according to the greatness of his faithful love. He made them also to be pitied by all who had taken them captive.
Save us, O Lord our God, and gather us from among the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in your praise. Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting and to everlasting; and let all the people say, Amen.
1 Samuel 1.21-2.11
The man Elkanah and all his household went up to offer to the Lord the yearly sacrifice, and to pay his vow. But Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband, ‘As soon as the child is weaned, I will bring him, that he may appear in the presence of the Lord, and remain there for ever; I will offer him as a nazirite for all time.’ Her husband Elkanah said to her, ‘Do what seems best to you, wait until you have weaned him; only—may the Lord establish his word.’ So the woman remained and nursed her son, until she weaned him. When she had weaned him, she took him up with her, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour, and a skin of wine. She brought him to the house of the Lord at Shiloh; and the child was young. Then they slaughtered the bull, and they brought the child to Eli. And she said, ‘Oh, my lord! As you live, my lord, I am the woman who was standing here in your presence, praying to the Lord. For this child I prayed; and the Lord has granted me the petition that I made to him. Therefore I have lent him to the Lord; as long as he lives, he is given to the Lord.’
She left him there for the Lord. Hannah prayed and said,
‘My heart exults in the Lord; my strength is exalted in my God.
My mouth derides my enemies, because I rejoice in my victory.
There is no Holy One like the Lord, no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.
Talk no more so very proudly, let not arrogance come from your mouth;
for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.
The bows of the mighty are broken, but the feeble gird on strength.
Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread,
but those who were hungry are fat with spoil.
The barren has borne seven, but she who has many children is forlorn.
The Lord kills and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up.
The Lord makes poor and makes rich; he brings low, he also exalts.
He raises up the poor from the dust; he lifts the needy from the ash heap,
to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honour.
For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s, and on them he has set the world.
He will guard the feet of his faithful ones, but the wicked shall be cut off in darkness;
for not by might does one prevail.
The Lord! His adversaries shall be shattered; the Most High will thunder in heaven.
The Lord will judge the ends of the earth; he will give strength to his king,
and exalt the power of his anointed.’
Then Elkanah went home to Ramah, while the boy remained to minister to the Lord, in the presence of the priest Eli.
As he came near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, ‘If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. Indeed, the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up ramparts around you and surround you, and hem you in on every side. They will crush you to the ground, you and your children within you, and they will not leave within you one stone upon another; because you did not recognize the time of your visitation from God.’
Then he entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling things there; and he said, ‘It is written,
“My house shall be a house of prayer”; but you have made it a den of robbers.’
Every day he was teaching in the temple. The chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people kept looking for a way to kill him; but they did not find anything they could do, for all the people were spellbound by what they heard.
God of peace, who through the ministry of your servant Irenaeus strengthened the true faith and brought harmony to your Church:
keep us steadfast in your true religion, and renew us in faith and love,
that we may always walk in the way that leads to eternal life;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.